Charlie Mulgrew said it was ‘off his own back’ that he opted to take up the option in his loan clause that allowed him to return to Rovers.

Mulgrew’s season-long loan deal agreed in the summer included an option for both sides to cut short the loan spell by January 15.

But it was the 33-year-old who decided that he wanted to end his time at the DW Stadium and return to Ewood Park.

Mulgrew will now be unable to play for any other team this season having played 13 times for Wigan, and for Rovers on the opening day.

But the Scotland international felt the time was right to return to Rovers following conversations with boss Tony Mowbray.

“It’s nice to be back and good to see some familiar faces,” Mulgrew said in an interview with the club website.

“There was a recall up until yesterday and I decided off my own back that the best thing for me going forward was to come back here amongst the lads and fight for my spot.

“I’d been thinking about it for a couple of weeks and in the end I decided that the best thing for me was to come back here.

“I’m very thankful for my time at Wigan and the opportunity they gave me, but ultimately for me going forward, to be fit and available to be any use to anybody, my best option was to come back here and I’m delighted to be here.

“I phoned the manager here a couple of times, we spoke about the situation and he was brilliant. We’ve always had a great relationship, so he was great with me and said I was welcome back. So I appreciate that and I thank him for that and I hope I can pay him back with helping out in whatever way I can.”

His return increases the chances of Mulgrew reaching a century of league appearances for Rovers since arriving as a free agent in 2016.

A new deal agreed in November 2018 leaves him under contract at Ewood Park until the summer of 2020, but Mulgrew’s focus is on the here and now.

He hopes to return to full training by the end of next week, having not featured for Wigan since December 7 because of a calf injury.

He added: “I started running at Wigan a few days ago and I’ve been out running again today.

“I’ll keep building up to be training hopefully by the end of next week.

“And then I’ll just give all I can to be available for this club and fight to get this club to where it wants to be.

“I’ll be a complete professional and do everything I can to help this club and be ready when called upon. That’s my priority and my duty as a professional and as a player for this club that pay my wages. I’ll do all I can to be available and be ready to help this team.

“It would mean a lot to play for this club again. I’ve got a good relationship here with the fans and the staff and the players, so it’s my priority to make sure I’m ready and available to be here for this club.”